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D5: Smutwood Peak (Easy Scramble)

  • Sep 9, 2012 · 8:00 AM
  • McMahon Stadium



Distance: 19 km (roundtrip)

Elevation gain: 950m

Time: 7-8 hours (Don't make plans depend on it. It's the mountains!)

Skill level: Class 2 (Steep Hike + Easy Scrambling)

Pace: Moderate

(If you're looking for an Olympic decathlon, you're in the wrong place).

Safety: Bear encounters

Trail Conditions: Good to go!

Weather Conditions: Unknown (expect anything in the mountains!)

Location: K-Country

We'll approach it from Commontwealth trail, then go up to the Smuts Pass and then to the High Col. From that point onwards, head north along the ridge to the summit. Pretty straightforward huh?

Bushwhacking may be involved, so be prepared for going off trail if necessary. Currently there are no dodgy snow patches on the way; however towards the peak, you'll deal with a rugged ridge that gets pretty narrow. We then intend to go up to the true summit.

I intend to do this trip again in the upcoming winter with mountaineering boots, ice axes, and microspikes/crampons.


We'll need drivers. Please indicate in your RSVP comment whether or not you can drive if necessary and bring others in. I set the current RSVP to 9. I may increase it up to 12 if we have more drivers.

Event Participation: CORA trips start at the trailhead; but as a favour to our participants, we will carpool in town at the specified meetup place (i.e. McMahon Stadium). The event host(s) hold the right to remove you from the trip or add you into the trip from the waiting list depending on transportation readiness, previous hiking experience, and commitment to the CORA events. Please be on time in the meetup place, as we won't be waiting for you more than 10 minutes.

If you become unable to attend or change your mind after saying "YES" in the RSVP, please let the event organizer(s) know about this 48 hours before the event. If you make a last minute cancellation without a 'really juicy story' (involving UFO abductions, bear kidnapping, Metallica concert), I may not take you on my future trips. This is not a dating service; either you are committed or you are not. Be courteous to those waiting to attend. If you don't let me know, I'll record you as 'no show.' The more 'no shows' you get, the less chance you have in joining another trip with any organizer.

This is a Class 2, easy scramble. There's a steep hike waiting for you on the way to the lakes. Furthermore, it involves some slabby sections on the way to the summit. Please gauge your abilities before signing up this trip.The event organizers are not here to babysit you. I'll send you home if you come unprepared :)

Mandatory things to bring:

- Sturdy hiking boots -- no runners, casual, approach style shoes or such (we aren't going up for a tap dance).

- Breathable and warm clothing (Bring some mid-layers against gale force winds and maybe some rain. Mountain weather is quite unpredictable so be prepared for that!)

-- No cottons! It is one of the biggest no-go's of all kinds of outdoor activities. If you get wet wearing cotton and the weather is windy, even in 15 C, you might end up getting hypothermia and it has dire consequences.

- 2.5 litres of water (minimum).

- Lunch and snacks

- Sunscreen

- Sunglasses

- Sense of Wonder


- Camera

- Bear Spray

- Gaiters

- Icers/Microspikes

- Hat/Cap

- Hiking Poles

- Extra pair of shoes/socks as you might want to change in the parking space after the trip.

Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed. We are entering bear territory. Bears are currently foraging with their cubs. Expect them to be defensive; if you bring a dog and it tries to provoke a bear, it will likely to be mauled (and eaten) in a terrible way.

Directions and Transportation

For drivers: Please indicate in your RSVP COMMENTS whether or not you can drive if necessary. I need to know if we'll have adequate transportation, not your preference to drive.

Please make sure you complete the preliminary assessment.

Directions: Follow Highway #1 (Trans-Canada Highway West) to Highway # 40 Kananaskis Trail. Turn left (south), and keep on Highway 40 (you will go past the Nakiska Ski Hill, and Kananaskis Golf Course, and the Fortress Mountain Ski Hill), all the way to the Smith Dorrien - Spray Trail turnoff (# 742). Turn right (west) and soon after turn right again, and then follow the Smith Dorrien - Spray Trail for about 30 kms. (north) to Mt Shark Road. Turn Left. We'll park nearby a place called Mount Engadine Lodge.


Members are free. Non-members fee is $5.

If you want to become a member of CORA, the annual fee is $20.

If you are not driving, please contribute some gas $$ money for drivers (Between $5-10 in K-Country trips).

Trip Waiver and Conditions

You must sign a trip waiver to attend to this event even if you are a paid member. Here is the waiver you are expected to sign:

Rules of Conduct (clickable): By participating in this CORA activity, you automatically agree to follow the CORA Rules of Conduct. Please read them by clicking here.

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  • C. E. L.

    This is easily the most beautiful hike/scramble I've ever been on. It's a really pleasant hike up, beautiful views at all times, and it's just a joy to do. Fair warning, though: hiking down the mountain in full rain and wind is less than delightful, especially when the rain starts right after you summit and doesn't end until you're 15 minutes from the cars. Huge thank you to Sakina for being our (only!) driver, even though she was frozen after the descent, and to the incredibly nice folks at Engadine Lodge for being so kind and hospitable to a bunch of soaking wet hikers. Thank you!

    September 10, 2012

  • U. P.

    This is by far the most rewarding scramble I've made! A very special thanks to Sakina who came through and drove us there, and to the rest, great company! The rain hit hard, hiked down there under deluge for three hours; but having two cups of hot chocolate at the Mt Engadine Lodge (and a cat to cuddle up, lol) reminded me why we crazy people can't do without the mountains xD

    September 9, 2012

  • U. P.

    Sorry, I'm running late a little.

    September 9, 2012

  • Mike

    sorry I have to bail. I have a chance to do Temple on sunday--can't pass that up!

    September 6, 2012

  • U. P.

    Here's the weather forecast for Sunday:
    Bring mid-layers and/or jackets, the summit will likely to be quite chilly.

    September 6, 2012

  • sakina

    I can probably take 4 (plus me)

    September 6, 2012

    • U. P.

      Thanks Sakina. See you guys on Sunday!

      September 6, 2012

  • Mike

    I can take 3 (plus me). 4 in a pinch

    August 29, 2012

    • U. P.

      Thanks Mike. We still need a second driver who can take the other 3 or 4.

      August 29, 2012

  • U. P.

    Sorry, I had to make a reduction in numbers due to lack of drivers.

    August 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It's little more than a steep walk-up with some easy scrambling near the summit.

    August 21, 2012

    • U. P.

      I appreciate the input Taras. Your experience with this peak will be invaluable up there.

      August 22, 2012

  • U. P.

    I went up to the Smuts Pass this Sunday. There are no snow patches but the ridge appears to be getting very narrow and rugged on the way to the summit. It will involve careful approach. Also definitely bring your cameras -- we saw lots of Moose in the area and around Engadine Lodge.

    August 21, 2012

6 went

Membership dues

CAD20.00 before first trip

This covers: Annual Membership

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Payment must be made before attending your first trip of the year with CORA. Your Membership will be valid until the next AGM.

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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